1) Type of Venue. Does it match your vision, personality & taste? Your options include: traditional banquet facility, hotel, historical or cultural location, country club, ship or boat, tent or outdoor location.
2) Size of the Venue. Is it comfortable and large enough for guest seating without having to stuff in the bar, dance floor, or DJ? Compare the size of your guest list to the capacity of the location.
3) Location of the Venue. Is it convenient to get to after the ceremony? Is there ample parking for your guests?
4) Quality of the Venue. Is the management both experienced and easy to work with? Are they flexible allowing you to customize your preferences? Is everything clearly spelled out including the cost, length of reception, bar hours, licenses, insurance, security and any restrictions.
5) Focus of the Venue. Is yours the one & only event that day, so to enable you to receive the best and most individualized attention? Are there other events occurring before, during or after your reception & how does that impact & restrict your vendors setup or take down times? How do other events influence your option for overtime?